You have to give CNN’s David Goldman a little credit.
With Apple’s next potential revolution still a few months away, he’s going for the gusto.
He’s not just saying that the Apple Watch won’t be as big as previous Apple hits. He’s saying the Apple Watch will flop. Period.
That’s the kind of bravado we like to see. Especially since no product in modern Apple history has ever flopped, despite the many who have predicted otherwise.
So, you might wonder, upon what insights does David base his prediction? Let’s take a little ride…
It costs $350
Way too much for a device that adds “just a slight bit of convenience,” says
Mr. Vision. “It just allows you to do some iPhone functions on the wrist.”
I do hope the memo has gone out to the thousands of developers working on a new universe of wrist apps. Anything more than a slight bit of convenience will not be tolerated!
To beef up his argument by referencing someone with more credibility, David quotes investor Fred Wilson, who said the Apple Watch “won’t be the home run product that iPod, iPhone and iPad have been.”
If Fred Wilson’s own shoddy record evaluating Apple’s products and decisions weren’t enough to give David pause, maybe Fred’s recent tweet will:
“It is annoying that serious media outfits like CNN and Business Insider report that I said the Apple Watch will be a flop.”
Because that’s not what he said at all.
Battery life is going to be awful
“If the rumors of 10-hour battery life hold true, that’s truly dreadful,” says David. “That’ll barely get most people through their work day and commute.”
Geez, David can’t even get the rumors straight. The expectation is 2.5 to 4 hours, not 10.
There are two reasons most people won’t care. The first being that our dumbphones lasted a lot more than one day, but now most of us recharge nightly. Oh, the pain. Battery life is a part of modern living, and most are quite willing to recharge more if they get more functionality.
Second, even the low end of that battery estimate isn’t awful. Most everything you do with an Apple Watch will be done with a glance. Just 2.5 hours of battery life gives you 9,000 seconds to play with. Even if you preferred a luxurious 10-second glance, you’d get 900 uses out of your charge. At four hours, you’d get 2,160 uses.
In David’s house of doom-tinted-cards, even 10 hours would put Apple Watch into flop territory.
Not everyone thinks it’s as beautiful as Tim Cook does
Okay, Tim’s sense of beauty really isn’t the best benchmark. However, he’s not the guy who designed the Apple Watch. That would be Jony Ive, who does have a bit of a knack for making things beautiful.
“Compared to Apple’s other products, it’s ugly,” says David.
Let’s see, whose instinct should I trust on this one? Jony or David. David or Jony…
What’s compelling about it?
David chooses a few of the Apple Watch’s sillier functions to reject the device outright.
“Does anyone really want these functions?” he asks.
First, he answers that it’s a personal preference. Then he says most people will “undoubtedly say, ‘No way.'”
There are some meaningful functions included from the start. But it takes a minimum of brainpower to get that more functionality is on its way. In fact, since developers are at work this very moment, you can be sure there will be a boatload of new functions available at launch. With many, many, many more to come.
Version 2.0 will be better
Bingo! Perceptive! A star on David’s journal!
I’m sure there are a number of people who won’t buy the 1.0 Apple Watch. Just as there are many who won’t buy the first version of any product.
But guess what. A great many will leap at the chance to buy an Apple Watch simply because it has a heavy lust factor and a ton of potential. The product, PR, advertising, buzz — it all adds up. And David seems to forget that the 1.0 Apple watch is aimed directly at the mind-boggling number of happy iPhone owners — which does not include him.
Any guesses about David’s personal taste in technology?
You can find one clue in the article he wrote on CNN.com this past May, entitled “Why I broke up with Apple.”
Also, be aware that yesterday’s Technology section at CNN.com started with not one, but two articles by David. The first declared Apple Watch a flop. The second sings the praises of the amazing new Samsung Galaxy S6.
Of course, Samsung has taken quite a beating of late. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are outselling the Galaxy, and Samsung’s profits have fallen off a cliff. Obviously, if Apple were in that position, critics like David would see the next iPhone as do-or-die time. Incremental improvements would be an epic fail.
Yet in this article, David beats the drum for the new Galaxy because it has:
• Improved design.
• Less software clutter. (All that extra stuff now available as optional download.)
• Four rumored colors.
• A wraparound “edge” that will act as a second display with tidbits of info or apps.
• NOT the latest processor.
Fortunately, we have David to put it all in perspective. Samsung’s big day is coming soon, and the Apple Watch is sure to be a flop.
But let’s not let CNN off the hook. As I have whined previously, CNN has developed a nasty habit of presenting opinion as news. Their new format has actually eliminated the section that used to be marked “Opinion.” Instead, certain articles listed on the home page now start with the word “Opinion:”.
Not David’s article, of course. “The Apple Watch will flop” was delivered as fact — even though virtually every sentence contained David’s dubious opinion.
Ah, the things we do for clicks.